Burlington's Ordinance Committee is still discussing a proposed zoning amendment change to accommodate the height of the new Burlington Town Center. Committee members began discussing the Planning Commission's draft recommendations last Thursday. The planned height of BTC has been a major sticking point for officials and the public.
"I don't think I can support 14 stories and I understand legally I have to and I did in the predevelopment agreement, but I don't think this necessarily is the right thing to do," says Committee Chair Sharon Bushor.
The Planning Commission's recommendations would allow for larger, taller buildings downtown. Buildings currently can be 65 feet tall, not to exceed 105 feet. The new changes would increase that to 65 feet, with a maximum of 160 feet.
"There's a lot of tension I see in the community and I don't know how we'll mend that," says Caryn Long of Burlington.
"PlanBTV does not support this ordinance or this project," says Michael Long of Burlington.
Councilor Bushor wants the recommended height maximum to be lowered to 130 feet.
"The discussion of height and the controversy of height between the council in 2009 was the reason for PlanBTV," says Long.
Developer Don Sinex was not present Monday night, but his management team was. They say if the recommended height and mass were to change, Sinex would have to decide whether he could redesign a plan to fit those standards. They say if building height were to decrease from 160 feet to 130 feet, it would eliminate two floors of housing. That is approximately two to three dozen units.
The Ordinance Committee is set to continue discussions Tuesday night, before passing a final draft to City Council. City Council will then take action to approve it.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.